MINNEAPOLIS—MAY 30, 2017— Statewide entrepreneurial competition MN Cup announced today it has advanced 80 teams of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators to the semifinals of the 2017 competition. In its thirteenth year, the MN Cup is giving away a record $450,000 in total prize money. 

The following semifinalists from eight divisions will compete for a share of the $450,000 in prize money, as well as the training and support to help make their entrepreneurial ideas a reality:


ENERGY/CLEAN TECH/ WATER
Abyss, Carver County
A-Sharp Energy, Hennepin County
CD3, Ramsey County
Cosine Labs, Hennepin County, minority-led
enVerde LLC, Hennepin County
FLUID, Ramsey County, minority-led
Future Force LLC, Hennepin County
Qlean Tech Enterprises, LLC, Dakota County
Sironix Renewables, Ramsey County
Terrafore Technologies LLC, Ramsey County, minority-led

FOOD/AG/BEVERAGE
Aker, Blue Earth County, minority-led
Autonomous Tractor Corporation, Wright County
Dumpling & Strand, Noodlers at Large, Hennepin County, woman-led
General Probiotics, Hennepin County
Make It Simple, Washington County, woman-led
Mississippi Mushrooms, Hennepin County
Round Table Hops, Hennepin County, woman-led
RSVTea, Hennepin County, woman-led
Squarrel Cooperage, Becker County
The Twisted Shrub, Hennepin County

GENERAL 
BallSkate, Hennepin County, minority-led
Cedar Labs LLC, Ramsey County
Chromatic 3D Materials, Hennepin County, woman-led
Corridor Music, Hennepin County
Dean Ultra Thin Retainer, Beltrami County
DoWhimsy LLC, Carver County
Elevate Hockey, Hennepin County
Mako International, Hennepin County, woman-led
Rhino Tools, Stearns County
Z Flow Pro, Dakota County, woman-led

HIGH TECH
Climb, Washington County
Extempore, Ramsey County, minority-led
Homi, Hennepin County, minority-led
Pursuit Health Technologies, Hennepin County, minority-led
Rentable, Hennepin County
Rover Development, Hennepin County
Starting 11, Hennepin County, woman-led, veteran led
TeamGenius, Chisago County
Tenicity, Ramsey County, minority-led
Trust Funds, LLC, Anoka County, woman-led

IMPACT VENTURES 
Accessible360, Hennepin County, woman-led
Binary Bridge, Hennepin County, woman-led
Edji, Inc., Hennepin County
GogyUp, Ramsey County
Iron Range Makerspace LLC, St. Louis County
Live Give Save, Goodhue County, woman-led
Marbles Analytics, Hennepin County
Recovree, Ramsey County, veteran-led
UR TURN, Hennepin County, woman-led
Venn Foundation, Ramsey County

LIFE SCIENCE/HEALTH IT
Dose Health, Hennepin County
FocusStart Respiratory, Ramsey County
Impleo Medical, Inc., Ramsey County, woman-led
Lite Run Inc., Ramsey County
MicroOptx, Inc, Hennepin County
Photonic Pharma, LLC, Hennepin County
Sanso Health, LLC, Hennepin County
Smartbeat, Waseca County, woman-led
Soundly, Ramsey County, Ramsey County
Universal Prosthetics, LLC, Hennepin County

STUDENT
Da Vinci Industries, Rice County
Dolore Biotechnology, Scott County, minority-led
Dotbound, Ramsey County
Farm Vision Technologies, Ramsey County
KinoSol, Ramsey County, woman-led
Outdoors Advisor, Nicollet County
Primate Longboards, Blue Earth County
Snap N­­et, Anoka County
UnderRecruited Preps, Blue Earth County, minority-led
Venew, Nicollet County, minority-led

YOUTH
BelMaugh, LLC, Ramsey County
Chatter, Ramsey County, minority-led
Crimson Café, Hennepin County, minority-led
Eye on Walleye, Hennepin County, woman-led
Green Garden Bakery, Hennepin County, woman-led, minority-led
Hidden Gem, Inc., Ramsey County, minority-led
Peacebunny Island, Meeker County
Pocket Pollinator, Hennepin County, woman-led, minority-led
Versital, Hennepin County, minority-led
Via, Olmsted County, woman-led, minority-led

The big news for this year’s competition — MN Cup is celebrating a record number of applications by minority-led teams. Out of the 520 teams in the 2017 competition, 29 percent are led by minorities, and 37 percent are led by women. In total, 1,280 creators, dreamers, and innovators from around Minnesota have sought out MN Cup to help them down the road to entrepreneurial success. Participation is also record breaking for our youngest business-builders, with a new high — 12 percent of the teams are led by students.

Applications for the 2017 MN Cup competition opened on March 20 and closed on April 28, giving entrants seven weeks to complete an entry form about their business idea, detailing three key sections: opportunity, plan and progress. Teams compete in one of eight divisions: Energy/Clean Tech/Water, Food/Agriculture/Beverage, General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Impact Ventures, Student (for enrolled grad school or undergrad students ages 19-30) and Youth (age 18 and younger). Those who advanced to the semifinalists level will meet with experienced mentors throughout the summer to craft detailed business plans.

Three finalists from each division will be chosen to present final business plans in August. Winners from each of the eight divisions will be announced in late summer. Each division runner-up will receive $5,000, while division winners receive $30,000 and a shot at the $50,000 grand prize and $20,000 second prize.  The Youth division will award a total prize of $20,000 — the first place winner will receive $10,000, and the second and third place winners and semifinalists will divide up the remaining funds.  Competitors in every division are also eligible to win dedicated prizes, including from The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Carlson Family Foundation, Meda and DEED, Securian Financial Group, Capella and AARP.

At the MN Cup awards celebration on October 9 at the University of Minnesota, one will be chosen as 2017’s best breakthrough business idea. More than 13,000 Minnesotans have participated in MN Cup since it began. Finalists have gone on to raise more than $230 million in capital to support the development of their ideas, create jobs, and broker numerous business partnerships, collaborations and distribution agreements.